Leveling the Plane of ExistenceAbysmal Dawn

Leveling The Plane Of Existence

01. The Age of Ruin
02. Pixilated Ignorance
03. In Service of Time
04. Rapture Renowned
05. Our Primitive Nature
06. Perpetual Dormancy
07. Leveling the Plane of Existence
08. Manufactured Humanity
09. My Own Savior
10. The Sleeper Awakens

[02/01/11]
[Relapse Records]

I’m rather confident that most bands don’t form to create ground-breaking music, or invent the next big genre. No, some bands have formed together to just have a shitload of fun, play shows, and maybe make a few bucks while doing so.  While there is nothing wrong with that (hell, I’m in a few bands just to occupy myself cause there is NOTHING to do in KY), it generally leads to albums of less quality.  And here’s where Abysmal Dawn come in.

Abysmal Dawn are a three piece death-metal band from Los Angeles, California.  They have been rapidly gaining attention through the success of their previous album, Programmed to Consume, released in 2008.  However, I feel Leveling The Plane of Existence is not destined for such a warm reception.

The songwriting is your standard death metal structure. Chunky riffs with blasts abound, with the occasional odd time signature thrown in for good measure; nothing ground-breaking or innovative.  While there are definitely some catchy riffs and vocal parts (The chorus in “Pixilated Ignorance” is one of the catchiest choruses I’ve ever heard), nothing really grabs the ears as much as the listener may like.

The technicality of the band does show.  Guitar riffs are definitely challenging, and they are made all the more impressive given that guitar-wielder Charles Elliot is also the vocalist.  Guitar solos are also very prominent in the record.  Both the riffs and solos are quite impressive, but come off as uninspired and soulless.  Drumming is very impressive, even though that the death metal genre seems to be uber-saturated with astounding drummers nowadays.  The vocal tone heavily reminds me of a more intelligible John Gallagher of Dying Fetus fame.  So there is definite talent in the group.

The production is definitely noteworthy. Everything is clearly heard—even the bass, which is criminally neglected in most recordings.  Guitar tone is heavy while retaining quality.  Vocal tone is astounding, with nary a clip or nuisance to be heard.  Kudos to the guy working the boards.

However, as mentioned before, it’s pretty obvious that Abysmal Dawn has no intention to make anything innovative.  The album suffers from a raging case of unoriginality.  Generic riffs plague the record, and drumming lacks any sort of inspiration.  I can easily find these riffs on almost any death metal album.

Abysmal Dawn have a ton of talent, no doubt about it.  But if they don’t learn how to be creative in their writing, then the full potential of that talent will not be reached.  Because what we have here is an uninspired album that, while impressive, is a listen that we all have heard before, and after a few listens, loses its luster outrageously quickly.

tl;dr: It’s your average death metal album, and it shouldn’t exist.

Abysmal Dawn’s Leveling The Plane of Existence gets…

2.5/5

2.5/5

– GR

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